ADHD Medications for Children


Attention deficit disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral condition that is typically defined by symptoms such as absence of concentration, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. These symptoms are typically first picked up in early childhood, especially once children begin school. Medication is often recommended after a precise medical diagnosis. This medical diagnosis should be done by a specialist who is trained and experienced in ADHD, like a pediatrician or psychiatrist. The best outcomes are obtained by careful medical diagnosis and a thoughtful treatment plan. 

What ADHD Medications Are Available for Children?

Medications are used to treat and eliminate the symptoms, such as improving the concentration and controlling impulses. They will not cure ADHD. It is likewise vital to understand that some children will have extreme improvements whilst others not so much. Therefore, treatment and dosages need to be controlled by a doctor.

ADHD medications for children are divided into 2 categories:

ADHD Medications: Stimulant Medicines

They are most frequently used to treat ADHD. They have been used the longest and therefore have the most research to support their use. Stimulants work by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter called dopamine. Optimum levels of dopamine in the brain are associated with pleasure, inspiration, movement and attention. Thus, stimulant medicines increase concentration and motivation however reduce the impulsiveness and hyperactivity. Examples consist of Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine.

This group of ADHD medications for children can be more subdivided into long-acting stimulants and short-acting stimulants. Short-acting medications need to be taken 2-3 times a day due to the fact that blood levels of the drug peak after a few hours. Long-acting drugs are release more slowly into the bloodstream and need to be taken typically only as soon as a day.

ADHD Medications: Non-Stimulant Medicines

This kind of ADHD medications for children can include some types of antidepressants and even some high blood pressure medicines. These are considered when the stimulant-type of medicine has actually cannot improve symptoms of ADHD or if the side-effects are not well endured.

  • An example of medicine in this class is Strattera

The active component in Strattera is a chemical called atomoxetine. It is a long acting medication with some antidepressant effects, which is a fantastic option if there is some stress and anxiety and depression that accompanies the ADHD.

Other non FDA-approved (they are not authorized for the treatment of ADHD) medicines that are in some cases considered when the Strattera and stimulant drugs are not useful, are:

  • Hypertension medications: they help in reducing the hyperactivity, hostility and impulsiveness. They do not help with the interest issues, nevertheless. Examples: clonidine (Catapres) and guanfacine (Tenex).
  • Antidepressants: tricyclic antidepressants and bupropion (Wellbutrin) are frequently thought about. The latter drug affects both dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This group of ADHD medication for children is considered particularly if there is depression as a co-existing condition.

Side Effects of ADHD Medications for Children

The majority of the typical side-effects are:

  • Poor hunger
  • Sleep disturbances
  • State of mind swings
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal discomforts
  • Drowsiness

Ways to ease the side-effects:

  • Sleepiness throughout the day can be eased by giving the dosage in the evening. Speak to your doctor about possibly reducing the dosage or dividing the dosage so that smaller dosages are offered twice a day.
  • If the ADHD medication reduces your child’s cravings, offer the dosage after breakfast so that the child is able to eat a good breakfast. Towards dinner-time, the impacts of the medication must start to subside, so give the child a big dinner. In between, serve healthy snacks. If the child is still dropping weight, consult your doctor about reducing the dose or taking breaks from the treatment program.
  • Abdominal pains can be reduced by giving the medication either with food or straight after a meal.
  • Sleep disruptions can be reduced by taking the medication previously in the day or taking a shorter-acting medicine. Talk to your doctor about minimizing the dosage to help your child sleep much better.
  • Mood swings ought to be thoroughly observed. Speak with your doctor if you notice any self-destructive thoughts or decreased psychological expression.
  • Heart disturbances are really unusual. If there is a household history of heart issues, make certain to discuss it to the doctor so that the child can be kept an eye on closely.

Other Ways to Handle ADHD

Although lots of parents pick ADHD medications for children, some parents choose alternative techniques of managing symptoms of ADHD to decrease any side-effects. Speak with your doctor before stopping or lowering any medication.

Usually non-drug therapies in mix with medication can be a terrific strategy in the total treatment of ADHD.

  • Habits management can be effective if parents and teachers play a favorable function in assisting the child recognize his behavior and make some modifications. Motivate the child to sit quietly for short periods and benefit for great habits. A grownup can also help with organization of books, research, and so on.
  • Cognitive behavior modification is carried out by a certified therapist who will attempt to alter the method your child feels and therefore alter his behavior positively.
  • Practice excellent sleep habits by having a regular and constant bedtime that is followed strictly, even at the weekends. Develop a winding-down procedure to help the child to relax and loosen up. Get rid of all electronics from the bedroom so that there are no external interruptions.
  • Exercise assists the child focus and improves concentration. Activities like swimming can help the child unwind and calm down.
  • Meditation has been revealed to increase awareness and self-control in children with ADHD.
  • Music therapy, although not completely researched, can assist the child focus and the brain to switch in between various jobs. Listening to music you like is thought to launch dopamine in the brain increasing focus.
  • Offer the child a nutritious, balanced diet and minimize sugar and processed foods.
  • Enhanced consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is believed to alleviate symptoms of ADHD. Omega-3 is found in foods like walnuts, salmon, green leafy veggies, and so on.


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